Catholics get hot over melting cow

A blue cow sculpture in the form of a melting ice cream, complete with a stick emerging from its posterior, caused a storm when it was erected in front of St Istvan's Basilica in Budapest.

The Budapest Sun reports that the blue cow "ice cream" is the most extravagant piece of Budapest's Cow Parade, which has already toured Prague, New York and London.

However, some Hungarian Catholics have already shown their displeasure with at least one part of the project, by removing the blue "melting cow."

The sculpture had been placed in front of the Basilica on 1 July but was moved to the Liberal headquarters a few days later by a group calling itself Deminem.

Although the artists and the organisers of the event claim not to have intended to offended anyone's religious beliefs with "the plastic animal showing an ice-cream only," members of Deminem argued that "the cow's location was derogatory and the fact that its back was pointing towards the Basilica is obviously against the Catholic Church."

Gergely Csíkos, main organiser of the exhibition said, "We are sorry to have hurt people's religious convictions, or to have caused bad feelings with this form of art, but it was not our intention."

He added, "This is an absolutely non-political event and those, who would like to see more in it, are simply nitpicking."

According to Balázs Magashegyi, one of the artists, "It must have been Catholic people who broke the sculpture, repainted it and vandalised it."

Rózsa Gloner, a theology professor who had earlier suggested to the Free Democrats (SzDSz) that their headquarters would be a much better spot for the blue cow, claimed to have nothing to do with its relocation.

He told online news portal Index, "Something like this would never have happened in Rome in front of St Peter's Square." He added, "Young people should rather be shown nice things, as there is already enough deception everywhere." Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky said on the evening news on MTV, "Politics is not supposed to get involved with art.

"This kind of vandalism is simply outrageous."

Melting cow upsets locals, inspires vandals (Budapest Sun 13/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest (Wikipedia)

14 Jul 2006